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Wildcats win behind Miller's record night | Football
Spurred by Josiah Miller’s school-record five touchdowns and an opportunistic defense, the Oak Harbor High School football team leveled Lynnwood 68-14 Friday, Sept. 30, at Wildcat Memorial Stadium.
The Wildcats ran their record to 5-0 and now face Mount Vernon at home next Friday in a nonleague contest.
Miller, who didn’t carry the ball after the first possession of the second half, rushed 10 times for 133 yards and four touchdowns and caught two passes for 54 yards and one TD. The five scores broke the former school record of four in a game held by eight different players, most recently accomplished by Chris Valencia in 2006.
Brent Ryan rambled for 137 yards on 14 carries and scored one touchdown.
Ian Kolste completed five of eight passes for 104 yards and one score.
In all, Oak Harbor ran for 398 yards on 33 carries and had an 81-yard TD run by Isaiah Trower nullified by penalty.
Lynnwood (0-4, 0-5) moved the ball throughout the first half but had trouble reaching the end zone because of four turnovers; it added a fifth miscue in the second half.
Royal quarterback Blake Lord had his first pass of the day intercepted on the game’s third play by Peter Franssen and returned 50 yards for a score. From there, he completed his next six passes, then threw a second interception, this one by Miller. Lord completed five more in a row before his first incompletion or interception.
For the half he hit 13 of 17 for 215 yards. The second half was a different story. Lord failed on all six attempts and had another interception, this one ripped off by Mike Washington and returned 87 yards for a touchdown.
On Lynnwood’s second possession, Lord hit Morgan Skelton for 43 yards, but Skelton fumbled at the Oak Harbor one. (Skelton finished the game with five catches for 142 yards.)
The Wildcats drove 99 yards for their next score. Ryan set up the TD on a 37-yard run. Miller took it in from the 11 and Peter Franssen kicked his first of eight PATs.
Lynnwood countered with a touchdown with 2:16 left in the quarter helped by a 65-yard pass from Lord to Skelton. The run failed and Oak Harbor led 14-6.
On the first play of the second quarter, Miller scored on a three-yard run. Kolste completed passes of 40 yards to Miller and 27 to Washington during the 74-yard drive.
Cody Hernkind stripped the ball from a Royal runner on the next possession and returned it 22 yards to the Lynnwood 33. Kolste threw to Miller for a 14-yard score to cap the drive and make it 28-6.
With 2:40 left in the half, Miller returned a punt 40 yards to the Lynnwood 48. He then finished the drive with a 29-yard run.
One the first possession of the second half, it took Oak Harbor only three plays to score when Miller raced in from 48 yards out with 10:51 left in the third quarter. That would be his final carry of the night. The Wildcats led 41-6.
A 36-yard punt return by Miller put the ball at the Royal 24. Two Kolste completions and a one-yard run by Ryan made it 48-6.
That was followed by Washington’s interception and score.
In the fourth quarter, Sheyenne Sams raced for a 46-yard touchdown. Frank Grecco kicked the PAT.
Lynnwood’s Jesimon Smith returned the kickoff 80 yards for the Royals’ other touchdown.
Three plays later, Julian Faralan finished the scoring by zipping up the middle for a 54-yard TD.
Though next week’s game is nonleague, it won’t be a break for the Wildcats. Heading into Friday night, Mount Vernon had a 3-1 record in the rugged Northwest Conference and its only loss was a nonleague game to 4A Mariner.
The Bulldogs feature a dynamic offense behind quarter back Bennett Gibson and running back Marchael Acode.
Gibson has completed 49 of 109 passes for 853 yards and five touchdowns.
Acode has rushed for 650 yards on 62 carries for a 10.5 average and 11 touchdowns.
He is joined in the backfield by Micah Scott who has 288 yards on 25 carries and an 11.5 average.
Oak Harbor coach Jay Turner said the physical Bulldogs are a “playoff type team and it will give us an idea on where we stand” against a strong opponent.